Pengo (ペンゴ) is an arcade game developed by Coreland and published by Sega in 1982. The player controls Pengo, a red penguin that resides in the Antarctic. The game takes place in an overhead maze made of ice blocks, where Pengo fights the patrolling, blob-like Sno-Bees. The objective of the game is for Pengo to survive a series of rounds by eliminating all Sno-Bees, while amassing bonuses by bringing together the three diamonds dispersed in the maze.
The player uses a joystick and a single button as controls. Pressing the button while pushing the joystick will cause Pengo to push forward the ice block he is facing, which will slide until it hits a wall or another ice block, crushing any intervening Sno-Bees. Crushing more than one Sno-Bee at once will increase the number of points awarded. There are a total of sixteen levels, which repeat in order starting on the seventeenth round.
As the player crushes those on patrol, new Sno-Bees hatch from eggs located within ice blocks. At the start of each level, blocks that contain these eggs are briefly identified by flashing the color of that level's Sno-Bees. Eggs can be eliminated by crushing the ice blocks that contain them. If Pengo pushes a side wall the water "vibrates", any adjacent Sno-Bees will be briefly stunned, and are eliminated (for 100 points) if Pengo walks over them in this state. Eliminating all Sno-Bees in a round will progress the player to the next.
Diamond blocks are unbreakable; when connected in a horizontal or vertical line the player earns bonus points: 10,000 points if aligned without being against a wall or if only one diamond block is touching a wall, 5,000 points if all three are against the wall. Alignment will also temporarily stun all Sno-Bees.
After 60 seconds elapse in a round without a death, the game enters into sudden death mode; the music tempo and movement of the Sno-Bees accelerates. If a single Sno-Bee remains in the round, a jingle plays and the Sno-Bee accelerates in an attempt to reach a corner where it safely fades away.
The game will always start with the same maze on power up. Once the game has gone through the attract mode, the maze will change.
In the attract mode, push the two joys to up, press the two action buttons and one button of start game, and it will show the credits of the game. After a few seconds, the game will reset. The wait can be stopped pushing the start 1 button.
In a manner similar to Pac-Man, one of six brief intermissions plays on even-numbered rounds after the bonus is awarded. The intermissions feature six penguins performing various routines. In the first the penguins perform a small marching routine. In the second they "shake their booty". In the third each penguin stops and salutes the player. In the fourth the penguins turn to face the player and then exit the screen in a line, reminiscent of the aliens in Space Invaders. In the fifth Pengo is revealed playing himself with a cocktail table. In the sixth intermission, Pengo appears from behind the cocktail table playing "peek-a-boo" with the player. These intermissions then repeat in order throughout the remainder of the game.
I loved loved loved Pengo as a youngster - it was THE game I always went into town for the sole reason I could play it in the local arcades.
This looks like a really faithful conversion and brings back lots of great memories. My strategy was always to try to get the 3 unbreakable blocks together & get the big bonuses.
However, in following that strategy now I seem to have uncovered a bug in this emulation. If you manage to bring the 3 blocks together within the time limit which nets you 10000 bonus points, the game then goes a little odd (certainly if you do this on level 1). The game will never end and Sno-Bees, when squished by Pengo, just keep respawning in the bottom left corner of the arena, although they don't chase you & just wander off to the top of the screen. Some of them also appear to be 'stuck' in the side wall & unable to be squished.
Other than that little flaw, this is a terrific litte game.
November 14, 2014 Subject:
This is a pretty good game
I never really got too hard into Pengo because it demands you think logically while you're running around. My ex girlfriend's dad liked this game game in the early 2000s, but didn't like other games. This is a 3/5 game even if I never got into it. There's a lot of fun to be had in this game.